I received a complimentary copy of this fitness kit for review purposes. Also, affiliate links are marked (*).
I have written before about how much I enjoy Element workouts. There are a variety of workouts to choose from, including yoga, Pilates, barre, and dance. The workouts are filmed in beautiful locations, and they are easy to follow.
They also offer a few kits that combine fitness DVDs with home fitness equipment. There are Pilates kits with bands* and another with a small ball*. There are yoga kits, including one for beginners that includes a yoga block*.
I tried the Element Stretch, Release & Restore Yoga Kit*.
The kit includes:
- Two DVDs featuring three yoga programs (my kit also included a code to redeem for a digital copy of the programs)
- Reference cards with 10 tension-relieving poses
- Two massage roller balls
According to the cover of the box, the kit is to:
Gently roll away strain and stiffness, increase flexibility, reduce muscle fatigue and soreness and generate more vitality in your life.
Doesn’t that sound nice!
The kit comes with two massage balls in two different sizes. They are firm with a spiky surface.
There are three yoga sessions on two two DVDs included in the kit. The first is Yoga for Relaxation. Ashley Turner leads this 40-minute practice. This yoga session utilizes both massage balls. Turner tells the viewer, “Tension is a habit.” This practice is used to identify where we hold tension and to release it. Instruction is by voiceover cueing.
Using the massage balls is a highly personal experience. Turner demonstrates how to use the balls using movement and body weight to massage areas where tension builds, like the shoulders and the back. It feels a little like writhing on the floor. I was wiggling and rolling a bit awkwardly at first. Turner certainly looked a lot more graceful than I felt. But, with practice, it becomes more of a flow. I began to recognize how the massage balls are an awesome tool to incorporate into a stretching and relaxation regime. When the balls hit a point of tension, I really felt it, and it felt so good to focus on those tension points with the balls.
Turner uses both sizes of massage balls for this workout, but she does not verbally indicate when or why she is switching sizes. I would also suggest wearing form-fitting clothing, so the clothes don’t roll with the ball and get tangled. I did not find this DVD available for individual purchase on Amazon.
The second DVD is Yoga for Energy & Relaxation* with Tamal Dodge. This DVD includes two yoga sessions. The first is “Energy,” a 30-minute practice with flow and a focus on breathing. There are familiar poses like sun salutations, planks, dolphin, and warrior. There are some more challenging moves like back bends and a suspended right angle pose. Dodge focuses on breath with exercises like breath of fire. Poses are held for around five breaths. The instruction is by voiceover cueing. While holding poses, there is also a simulated breath in the soundtrack. This can be distracting at first.
The second program is 40 minutes and focuses on “Relaxation.” Tamal says, “Key word for this practice is surrender.” There are poses specifically for releasing tension and increasing flexibility, including neck stretches, downward-facing dog, and a modified eagle. Once again, there is a focus on the breath. Tamal encourages the viewer, “Make your breath audible.” Once again, the inhales and exhales are on the soundtrack when poses are being held. After final relaxation pose, Tamal explains why instructors suggest that you roll to the ride side before sitting up. He says that it keeps the heart elevated, so the relaxation can continue. In all the yoga DVDs and classes I’ve had, I’ve never had an instructor explain this.
This DVD is sold separately on Amazon*.
The reference cards include information on yoga poses, including the benefits and how to do them safely. These are convenient for travel or for easy reference.
Overall, this is a great kit. The yoga practices on the DVD are relaxing. I really like the massage balls. They are a great tool to have to find hidden tension. They are easy to store and great to keep by a desk. I like to roll the small one under my feet. I would suggest this kit if you don’t have massage balls and want to give them a try. Yoga for Energy & Relaxation is also a good addition to a fitness DVD collection.
The kit is available on Amazon, and it can also be found at Walmart.